Now that the Toronto Maple Leafs have officially been eliminated from the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs by the Boston Bruins in seven games, it is time to shift the focus to the 2018-19 season, and think about the future.
While we have absolutely no idea what is going to happen with the teams general manager Lou Lamoriello (he made a very cryptic statement about whether or not he will be back in Toronto next season), it sure looks like the Leafs has lost a talented and promising winger. For now, at least.
The team's second-round pick from the 2016 NHL draft, Yegor Korshkov, who was supposed to ink his first contract in the NHL next season, has reportedly decided to stay in Russia. The news was confirmed on the Kontinental Hockey League's official Twitter account, earlier today:
"Yegor Korshkov remains with the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, and signed a one-year, one-way contract with the team."
The news was then relayed by NHL.com's Russian contributor, Igor Eronko:
"Yegor Korshkov initially intended to sign with Toronto Maple Leafs, but decided to extend his contract for 1 more year"
This may come as a surprise to some people. KHL insider Aivis Kalnins reported just two weeks ago that while it was still all up in the air and that nothing was set in stone, it was believed that the Maple Leafs could count on the 21-year-old winger for some scoring depth going forward for the 2018-19 season.
It is unclear whether he would have a role with the team as soon as next year, but it is fair to believe that in the worst case scenario, he would have been a great addition to the Toronto Marlies.
The 6 foot 4, 180 pound forward played his first season in the KHL with the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv at only 18 years of age. He was widely known for leading the second-place Russians in scoring at the 2016 World Juniors, just a few months before the NHL draft. He also had a pretty successful second season in Russia, finishing with 12 points in just 41 games.
This past regular season, he managed to record eight goals and 26 points in 54 games, but was not able to record a single point in four playoff games.